What To Do About Water Pressure Blues

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Poor water pressure may seem like a minor issue, but there’s no reason to adjust to a weak shower spray or deal with a trickle when you really need a stream. Most homes are capable of better pressure if you take the time to find and repair the problem: Check the Pressure Some variance in water pressure from faucet to faucet is expected, but a major change in water pressure usually requires a repair. Before tackling the problem or calling in a plumber, check each faucet both in and outside the house. Turn on each faucet, one at a time, and make a note of an that seem to have reduced water pressure. Make sure the water is only running at one location. The dishwasher, automatic sprinklers, or a recently flushed toilet may temporarily affect pressure at other locations. Screen Time Faucets usually have a small aerator screen located just inside the faucet opening. This screen oxygenates and places bubbles in the water, which makes it more palatable, but it can also trap sediment and mineral deposits. If it becomes clogged, the water pressure drops. Inspect the tip of the faucet to see how it comes apart. Most have tips that screw off so you can reach the screen. Pull the screen out of the faucet tip. Plug the sink, and then rinse out the aerator to remove any sediment. You may need to scrub it lightly with an old toothbrush. If it’s badly clogged, you can dispose of it and use a replacement screen. Put the screen back into the faucet and screw the tip back on. If the pressure drop was due to a clogged aerator, it should be back to normal now. Pressure Regulators Your water lines have pressure regulators installed, which ensures that the water in your home maintains a consistent pressure. The regulators are usually located beneath the hose connection in the front of your house, but the location can vary. If the regulator malfunctions or isn’t set correctly, your water pressure suffers. It’s best to call in a professional plumber to replace or adjust the regulator. Hidden Leaks After checking the minor things, including the screens and regulator, it’s time to consider you may have a bigger issue. Hidden leaks can impact water pressure throughout your home, while causing extensive damage at the same time. Check your water meter when there is no water running inside or outside. If it’s still moving, that means you have a leak somewhere. Often, the leaks are in an automatic sprinkler system or a pipe running through the lawn, so you may want to check for soft, wet spots. If the leak is in your home, it...

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Ways To Transform Your Backyard Into Your Kids’ Dream Yard

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many parents want their house to become the “hang-out” house for their kids and their friends. This way, they can keep an eye on everything that’s going on and get the chance to see their kids a little more often. Since most kids are attracted to food and fun, here are a few ideas for transforming your backyard into your kids’ dream yard. Set up an outdoor kitchen Many growing children always seem to be hungry or thirsty, and they want easy access to the fridge and pantry. Instead of having a bunch of kids constantly coming in and out of your house, you can make sure that they’ll be taken care of by setting up an outdoor kitchen. A small refrigerator is a great accessory to have outside, as it can easily stash soda, juice, and water. You can even make it part of your kids’ chores to replenish it when drinks are low. Many of these fridges come with a small freezer compartment, perfect for keeping small containers of ice cream or popsicles on those hot afternoons. If you get a chance to install any sort of countertop outside, see if it’s feasible to build in a sink as well. An outdoor kitchen immediately outside an inside kitchen will often have easy access to a water line. An outdoor sink is key for cleaning up, though that not might be on the kids’ minds. Building a countertop also allows for storage space underneath it. Simple cupboards are a convenient place to store chips and other snacks that your kids can grab whenever they’re hungry. Build a multi-purpose court Many kids would love having a multi-purpose court in their backyard. As long as you have the space, a court is a great option to keep kids busy and physically active. Half-size courts are usually 30′ by 50‘, with full size courts running 60′ by 90’. You can equip your court with a basketball hoop (or two), a net for tennis, a net for volleyball, and/or set up goals for hockey or soccer. Your kids can help you decide what to install on the court depending on their favorite sports, and many of these accessories are removable. This means that your kids could be playing roller hockey one minute and then playing basketball the next. There are several options for creating a court, as some companies specialize in this field. However, a basic way of getting the same product would be to have a professional asphalt paving contractor come and level out your yard, prepare your ground, and lay the asphalt down. Your kids will love watching each step of the process, and they’ll love playing on it even...

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How To Determine When To Change Your HVAC Filter

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

To properly maintain your heating and air conditioning system, a clean air filter is essential. Many homeowners change their filters every few months, but that’s probably not often enough. Most experts agree that filters should be changed once a month or once every three months, but there’s really no hard and fast rule for this task. The truth is, there are many different factors that weigh in on the lifetime of your filters, and these factors vary from one household to the next. Pets in Your House If you have a lot of pets in your home–or even just one or two–you’ll likely need to replace your filter more often than people without furry creatures. Pet hair accumulates on a filter, just as it does around the baseboards and other areas in your house. A menagerie of pets will certainly cause a filter to clog quickly, but even one dog who sheds excessively can cause a quick buildup of hair and dander on the filter. As an added bonus, your allergies may lessen considerably once the filter is changed more regularly, because the dander will be circulated less often throughout your home. An Old House For many reasons, older homes tend to produce more dust, which builds up quickly on your filters. If you find yourself dusting surfaces more than once a week to keep buildup away, you should check your filters each week, as well. Not only is excessive dust a telltale sign that your filter is clogged, but replacing it may actually reduce the number of times you have to dust each week, since the HVAC system will no longer be pushing dust out the vents. A Large Family Though we don’t like to admit it, people also produce dust. Skin particles and hairs clog filters quickly, so the more people you have in your home, the more often you’ll need to change the filters. Families of four or more may find they need to change the filter quite often to keep the heat pump and air conditioner working efficiently. Even if none of these factors apply to your household, a dirty air filter is a sure sign you should change it. To minimize the frequency of the task, purchase higher quality filters with deep pleats that fit your vents well. Make sure you install the filters correctly; there should be an arrow that indicates which direction air should flow. If you’ve been experiencing lackluster performance from your HVAC system, regular filter replacements may restore it back to optimal working...

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Isolating And Repairing Heat Pump Failure Points

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Heat pumps are designed to last for decades with proper installation and maintenance, but the nature of any heat-emitting system can lead to quick and almost irreparable damage when proper installation and maintenance habits aren’t confirmed. A few troubleshooting points can help you pinpoint the problem for either a repair, replacement or a quick fix before a heating technician can assist. Air Filter Troubleshooting The heat pump has an air filter for the air intake and output, which can affect the intensity and quality of air if not properly maintained. The filters should be cleaned at least monthly, but may become dirty faster depending on where the heat pump is stored. Look through each air filter carefully before placing it back in the system. If the air filter has been clogged and unclean for extended periods of time, patches of the filter material may begin to become brittle and break. If there are any broken patches in the filter material, either visit a department store to pick up a replacement filter or contact the manufacturer for a direct replacement. The warm air blower fan’s filter has a chance to melt if the heat is too high. If the filter is melted, you’ll also need to clean out the filter slot in case burnt fiber or plastic is stuck to the system. Warm Air Blower Fan The warm air blower fan can begin to fall apart due to excessive heat. Within the blower fan is a set of wires that may begin to become brittle or blocked by plastic if not properly sealed. After years of service, a heat pump is likely to stop blowing air due to loosened or burned wires. Before changing the wires in a blower fan or any device, be sure to take note of the wire color codes. If possible, use a camera, tablet computer or smartphone to take a picture of the current wiring scheme to make repairs easier. Color codes are important for keeping the right electrical signal in the right place. Each wire has a specific purpose, such as turning the blower fan on or off or changing fan speeds. Cold Air Return Vent In order to heat effectively, many heat pumps have a cold air return vent that sucks in air at colder temperatures. Cold air has a tendency to sink to the bottom of a container, which is why the vent is usually located near the floor. Unfortunately, debris and dust can easily be sucked into the vent as well. The filter for the cold air return is usually sturdier, but needs to be cleaned more often. Make sure to check the inside of the return vent after cleaning, as some...

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Want To Grow A Garden On Clay Soil? Add Some Gypsum

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Growing a garden on clay soil doesn’t have to be impossible or difficult. If you do a simple soil test on the clay, you’ll know what to do to make it a viable home for plants. Clay soils are somewhat lacking in calcium. Because gypsum contains calcium, it helps clay soil a great deal. This guide demonstrates how to test your clay soil and how to add gypsum until you get the right amount of calcium needed to grow plants: Step 1: Dig Up a Little Soil Use a hand shovel to dig up a little bit of soil in the area where you want your garden, and place it in a pail. Break up the soil in the pail into dry clumps. If the soil is a little wet, spread it out a little on a newspaper, and set it in the sunlight until it dries. Step 2: Test the Soil Grab a clean jar and place some dry clumps of soil in it. Mix in some water; use bottled water if possible because tap water may contain minerals that can interfere with the test. Put a lid on the jar and shake it around. When the water turns to a milky color, set it on a table for a few minutes. If the water clears up, then your soil contains enough calcium. If it doesn’t clear up, gypsum will help. Step 3: Double Check by Looking at the Soil To be sure that gypsum will help, purchase a small amount and add a little to the soil and water mixture in the jar. Look at the soil to see if it clumps together as you’re adding it. The bottom line is that if the after in the jar doesn’t clear before adding gypsum and the soil clumps together after, then the next steps are necessary.   Step 4: Add Gypsum to the Soil Go to the garden center and pick up a few more bags of gypsum. Sprinkle it on the soil evenly and mix it into the ground as much as possible with a rake. If the soil is especially hard, loosen it up with a shovel or hire a tiller. Step 5: Test the Soil Again Repeat steps one through three to see if the water is clear and the soil is clumping properly. If so, you’ll be able to plant your garden and see it thrive. Contact your lawn professional if there is no response to adding gypsum to your soil. It may have other issues that need professional care. Test clay soil before you plant anything to ensure that your efforts are not lost due to a lack of calcium. For more help,...

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